Slovenian Food Tour

Ričet, vegetarian barley soup/stew with bread – the soup was really deliciously full flavoured despite the lack of meat.

What do you know about the food in Slovenia? Exactly! Unlike Italian, French, Chinese or Thai food, we are just not familiar with anything to do with Slovenian food! I decided to try to rectify the situation by choosing more local food and doing a food tour.

Chicken Dumplings – These tasted like chicken sausage balls. Tasty but hardly gourmet!

The tour guide of the food tour is school teacher by profession and she talked to us non-stop, filling us up with facts about Slovenia, Slovenes and their food. It turns out, Slovenians love something “on the spoon” like soups and stews. They must always have bread in the house or there will be panic! In the past, they were quite isolated so their traditional food comes from creativity and ingenuity using locally available ingredients.

Sunday lunchtime is strictly reserved for family lunch. Traditionally, the menu for Sunday lunch will be a fixed menu, an “iron” menu which is the same every week. Amongst other set traditional dishes will be beef and noodle soup! Turns out beef and noodle soup is also on the “iron” menu for all birthdays, weddings and Christmas. Be prepared to be “tut-tutted” by your senior relatives if you deviate from the traditional menu items!

It is an offense to the host if you leave food behind. It somehow implies that the food that you have been provided is no good.

Slovenia produces some nice wine. The tour guide explained the various wine regions of Slovenia by comparing the shape of the country to a chicken. Then she could explain the various regions by talking about the chicken head or the chicken butt! Unfortunately as the country is quite small and hilly, there can only ever be low volumes of wine produced as farmers just cannot cultivate the large acreages possible in other countries.

Antipasto Platter – with pig fat, various cold meats, local pate, pumpkin seed oil and mayonnaise dip, gherkins and figs. Served with homemade bread and rose wine. The dark green, pumpkin seed oil is much treasured in Slovenia. The flesh of the pumpkin itself is just an unfortunate, almost unwanted, side product of the seeds required for the oil.
Orecchiette with cherry tomatoes, polenta blocks to be eaten with a hearty and thick Istrian seafood Brodet stew/soup (yum!) and homemade Istrian Fuzi pasta with truffles (heavenly!). So nice to have fresh, homemade pasta with some bite to it!
Dishes from Tabar – tomato/melon dish and a dish with Adriatic sardines and crispy cracker topping with lime and wild onion mayonnaise. These are examples of how cuisine in Slovenia can be adapted to fine dining style dishes.
Carniolan Sausage, Horseradish and Mustard – salty and strong tasting

There was a dessert but unfortunately it was eaten too quickly to be photographed.
Buckwheat and walnut štrukli (rolled dumplings) with a salty, butter breadcrumb (?) topping. Interesting slightly sweet and salty combination!

Venison goulash and beef with noodle soup – the “noodles” are really thin slices of eggy crepe pancake. The beef soup was really light and the idea of bulking it up with the pancake “noodles” is a great idea to make a soup stretch with relatively cheap ingredients!
Bled Cream Cake (kremšnita) is a famous specialty of Bled. It is basically a slightly more upmarket Aussie vanilla slice.

Love to hear what you think! Thanks!!